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Bush: Tainted Legacy (SI.com)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Tainted Legacy If Yahoo! report is true, Bush, USC will pay hefty price Posted: Friday September 15, 2006 12:45PM; Updated: Friday September 15, 2006 2:05PM For three years, we watched with awe and appreciation as Reggie Bush electrified college football ...

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Old 09-15-2006, 03:12 PM   #1
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Bush: Tainted Legacy (SI.com)

Tainted Legacy

If Yahoo! report is true, Bush, USC will pay hefty price



Posted: Friday September 15, 2006 12:45PM; Updated: Friday September 15, 2006 2:05PM



For three years, we watched with awe and appreciation as Reggie Bush electrified college football like few before him. We got to know, through countless interviews and press conferences, a seemingly humble, pleasant kid from San Diego whose introverted demeanor contrasted that of his Hollywood party-boy teammate, Matt Leinart. And we couldn't help but admire the way coach Pete Carroll built USC into a dominant program while maintaining a uniquely fun and relaxed atmosphere unparalleled among its counterparts.

All of it is now irreparably tainted.

The Yahoo! Sports report that Heisman Trophy winner Bush and his family accepted money and benefits worth more than $100,000 while he was still a player at USC is a stunning revelation that could lead to Bush being stripped of his Heisman, the Trojans' 2005 season being erased from the record books and the NCAA hitting the program with major sanctions.

What makes the Yahoo! article so damning is the extent of the documented evidence the Web site says it has obtained. For instance, in March 2005 Bush allegedly signed a $623.63 bill to the credit card of wannabe marketer Michael Michaels for a stay at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. Michaels himself signed another document authorizing the hotel to accept the charges. Based on NCAA case history, this transgression alone would be enough to render Bush ineligible last season if NCAA investigators obtain the same documents.

But Yahoo! has much more. An employee of Bush's marketing representative, Mike Ornstein, allegedly paid for plane tickets and a limousine ride for Bush's family to a USC-Cal game. The Web site has a copy of the credit-card bill. Ornstein, either oblivious or defiant of NCAA bylaws, defended the arrangement as a "loan." That's illegal. So, too, was negotiating endorsement deals on Bush's behalf before he signed with Ornstein -- another of Ornstein's admissions.

And that's just the stuff that's been proven or admitted to. Other allegations in the article, attributed to various sources, include Michaels' short-lived company, New Era Sports, buying Bush a car and paying to deck it out; Ornstein giving regular cash payouts to Bush's parents and brother; and the family living rent-free in a posh San Diego house owned by Michaels (originally alleged last spring).

The NCAA and Pac-10 are investigating the alleged extra benefits Bush might have received. Both organizations will now be under significant pressure to corroborate Yahoo!'s allegations, particularly the ones involving documented examples of Bush jeopardizing his eligibility. While the NCAA cannot strip USC of any titles because it doesn't administer college football's postseason, it can levy any number of other sanctions, such as a bowl ban and scholarship reductions.

Story continues....
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...h.react/1.html

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